USA set to face Ecuador in FIFA U-20 World Cup quarterfinals
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team
2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup – Quarterfinals
Gydnia Stadium; Gydnia, Poland
11:30 a.m. ET (FS2, Universo)
Saturday, June 8, 2019
U-20 MNT TAKES AIM AT WORLD CUP FINAL FOUR: After a thrilling comeback win against tournament favorite France, the USA is one of eight teams remaining at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The only nation to reach the quarterfinals of the last three U-20 World Cups, South American champion Ecuador awaits the U.S. in the quarterfinals.
After a slow start, Ecuador dispatched Uruguay 3-1 in its Round of 16 match and will pose another challenge for the red, white and blue. A win would put the USA in prime position for one of its best-ever finishes at the U-20 World Cup. The team’s best finish was fourth at the 1989 tournament in Saudi Arabia.
USA 2019 FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP RESULTS
|May 24||Group D – USA vs. Ukraine||L 1-2||Servania||Bielsko-Biala Stadium; Bielsko-Biala|
|May 27||Group D – USA vs. Nigeria||W 2-0||Soto (2)||Bielsko-Biala Stadium; Bielsko-Biala|
|May 30||Group D – USA vs. Qatar||W 1-0||Weah||Tychy Stadium; Tychy|
|June 4||Round of 16 – USA vs. France||W 3-2||Soto (2), Rennicks||Bydgoszcz Stadium, Bydgoszcz|
WATCH THE FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP: All of the USA’s matches at the U-20 World Cup will be broadcast in English on Fox Sports platforms. Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on FS2. Matches are also available to stream on the Fox Sports App. The full Fox broadcast schedule can be found here.
The USA’s matches will be broadcast in Spanish on Telemundo platforms. Saturday’s match will be available on Universo and streamed live on the Telemundo Deportes app.
USA VS. ECUADOR:
- This marks the USA’s second meeting with Ecuador at the U-20 World Cup. The nations previously met in the teams’ first group stage match of 2017. After falling behind 2-0 early, Josh Sargent bagged a brace to bring the U.S. even. When Ecuador scored midway through the second, Luca de la Torre answered late to salvage a point for the USA in a 3-3 draw.
- Konrad De La Fuente, Chris Gloster, Mark McKenzie and Brandon Servania enter the match carrying one yellow card. If they receive a yellow card against Ecuador, they will be suspended for the following match.
- This marks the USA’s seventh appearance in the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup.
- Ecuador is making its fourth appearance at the U-20 World Cup. It’s the first time that La Tricolor has reached the quarterfinals of the tournament.
- A South American team has reached the U-20 World Cup final in 16 of 21 previous tournaments, including the last nine editions.
USA – 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Roster by Position (Club; Hometown; U-20 Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): CJ Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Foxchase, Pa.; 2/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; Oxnard, Calif.; 5/0), Brady Scott (Köln/GER; Petaluma, Calif.; 12/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; Lompoc, Calif.; 2/0), Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands; 11/1), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; Montclair, N.J.; 15/0), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC; Columbus, Ohio; 6/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; Bear, Del.; 13/3), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.; 12/0), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Birmingham, Ala.; 12/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Edwin Cerrillo (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas; 0/0), Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.; 5/0), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; Phoenix, Ariz.; 6/0), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.; 18/8), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas; 12/3), Brandon Servania (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas; 12/3)
FORWARDS (5): Konrad De La Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Miami, Fla.; 6/1), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg/GER; Lynwood, Calif.; 13/7), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; South Hamilton, Mass.; 16/7), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.; 9/6), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; Rosedale, N.Y.; 4/1)
ECUADOR – 2019 FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Pierre Bellolio (Universidad Catolica), 21-Johan Lara (Aucas), 1-Wellington Ramirez (Real Sociedad/ESP)
DEFENDERS (7): 15-Jesus Castillo (Puerto Quito), 4-Jhon Espinoza (Aucas), 18-Luis Loor (Independiente), 14-Richard Mina (Aucas), 3-Diego Palacios (Willem II/NED), 2-Jackson Porozo (Santos/BRA), 6-Exon Vallecilla (Aucas)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 5-Jordy Alcivar (LDU Quito), 13-Jefferson Arce (LDU Quito), 8-Jose Cifuentes (America), 7-Luis Estupiñan (Mushuc Runa), 16-Sergio Quintero (Imbabura), 10-Jordan Rezabala (Independiente)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Alexander Alvarado(Aucas), 9-Leonardo Campana (Barcelona), 20-Gonzalo Plata (Sporting CP/POR), 17-Stiven Plaza (Valladolid/ESP), 19-Daniel Segura (America)
THRILLING COMEBACK SEES USA OUST FRANCE: The USA’s Round of 16 fixture against France presented a difficult challenge. Carrying a roster of seasoned pros, France arrived in Poland as a tournament favorite. The USA was missing two key midfield pieces in Chris Durkin and Alex Mendez due to suspension from yellow card accumulation and faced sweltering heat and humidity.
Despite the adversity, the U.S. struck first against Les Bleus when Richard Ledezma split the France defense with a pass for Sebastian Soto to curl home in the 25th minute. France drew even just before the half before taking the lead after the break in the 55th.
A pair of substitutes, Ulysses Llanez and Justin Rennicks, buoyed the U.S. attack midway through the second half. Llanez sparked the American equalizer shortly after coming on, dishing to Weah, who slipped a pass through a swarm of French defenders to Soto inside the box, where the striker finished for his second of the day. After a pair of long-range efforts in the 83rd, Rennicks pounced on a rebound and drilled it to the back of the net for the game-winner.
Soto’s goals tied him for second in the tournament Golden Boot race and he is just the second U.S. player to bag multiple braces in the U-20 World Cup, joining Taylor Twellman.
AFTER BUMPY START, ECUADOR ON TRACK: Despite entering the tournament as South American champion, Ecuador faced a difficult draw in Group B and played three extremely tight games. La Tricolor drew Japan 1-1 in its World Cup opener, benefitting from a Japan own goal at the end of the first half. In the second match, Ecuador fell 1-0 to Italy on an early goal, setting up a must-win match-up in its final game vs. Mexico. An early goal from Gonzalo Plata proved to be the difference as Ecuador topped Mexico 1-0.
The South Americans narrowly qualified for the knockout round as the third of four best-ranked third-placed teams in the group stage, getting through despite its goal difference of zero. Drawing regional rival Uruguay in the Round of 16, Ecuador bested the team that beat them twice during South American qualifying 3-1. Despite falling behind early 1-0, Ecuador rallied to equalize before the half and added two late goals to secure quarterfinal advancement.
- Three Ecuadorian players have already debuted for Ecuador’s senior national team. Defender Diego Palacios and forward Stiven Plaza made their debuts in Oct. 2018 vs. Qatar. Forward Leonardo Campana earned his first cap against the U.S. MNT on March 22 in Orlando, a 1-0 victory for the U.S.
- Ecuador’s roster features 15 players born in 1999 and six born in 2000.
- Seventeen players compete domestically in Ecuador, led by five from Aucas, one of the most prominent clubs in the capital of Quito.
- Head coach Jorge Celico is an Argentinian with a lengthy coaching resume at the youth and pro levels that dates back to 1995. He’s coached professionally in Argentina and Ecuador and spent time at the helm of the Ecuador senior national team.
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
- Ecuador qualified for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup as champion of CONMEBOL at the 2019 South American U-20 Championship in Chile earlier this year.
- In the tournament group stage, Ecuador downed Paraguay 3-0, fell 3-1 to Uruguay, edged Argentina 1-0 and bested Peru 3-1 to top Group B with nine points and advance to the six-team final group stage.
- There, Ecuador beat Argentina again in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory, fell to Uruguay on a penalty 1-0, eked out a 1-0 victory over Colombia with a goal in the final minutes of stoppage time, battled Brazil to a scoreless draw and topped Venezuela 3-0.
- Ecuador finished with 10 points, narrowly edging Argentina for first in the final stage table.
- Forward Leonardo Campana took home the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.
- Campana, alongside midfielder Gonzalo Plata and defenders Diego Palacios and Jackson Porozo all made the tournament Best XI in Chile.